Dear YouDig?

By John Swansinger, Partner in the Real Estate and Construction Practice Group at
Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs

Dear YouDig?

I am CEO of a mid-west  manufacturing company. At long last, those extremely tough times have drifted away. We are thrilled with our plans to construct a new state-of-the-art facility opening in 2021. The options for construction delivery methods have expanded since we were sacked in the recession. Now we have to choose between design bid build, design build, construction manager at risk, multiple primes and others.  What factors should we consider?


Dear Sacked,

Congrats! You were sacked, you stood up and you survived. Odds are you were the company’s quarterback through the tough times. So it goes in construction, Sacked. The various delivery methods may be more or less appropriate depending on the players, their skill sets and your appetite for risk.

MOST IMPORTANT:  WHO IS THE QB?  Whether the QB is the contractor, a construction manager, architect or even YOU, leadership is everything on a construction project.  A star QB:

  • Makes All The Throws.  A star QB is well trained, experienced and capable to run all the plays in the play book.  Demonstrates prior success on similar projects.
  • Manages the Clock –   A star QB will keep the team running smoothly and control the close.   Your Project QB should continually watch the clock to make sure you deliver the project in the most efficient manner. Works to keep time on your side.
  • Calls The Right Audible – A star QB knows when things just aren’t working. Your Project QB should recognize weaknesses in the team, the strategy, or even the weather and make changes decisively.  Ditches a bad plan.
  • Navigates a Crisis – A star QB gets his team out of trouble.   Unexpected material issues arise in every project.  Doesn’t panic under pressure.
  • Knows His Team (The WHOLE team) – A star QB knows where to throw the ball to get the most out of every player and every play.  Inspires all project players and positions them for success.

Sacked, Pick the right QB and win.



John Swansinger is the author and founder of YouDig?, is a partner in Buckingham, Doolittle & Burrough, LLC‘s real estate and construction practice group and is the Cleveland Office Partner in Charge. He works with contractors, developers and construction owners on construction law issues including construction contracts, commercial agreements, construction litigation, subcontractor issues, insurance liability, breach of contract and more. He can be reached at or 216.615.7356.

YouDig is an online resource that connects the construction community with vital issues affecting the industry and is a component of the business law firm Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC that is specifically geared toward construction.